Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Although I just recently sent an email update, I need to make you aware of what's been going on in the legislature recently. Unfortunately, the majority party has been very busy this weekend passing several bad bills that would hurt our great state if they become law. One of the worst bills, House Bill 1236, passed earlier today despite bipartisan opposition. Click here to watch the full debate.
This is a terrible bill, which essentially takes away the rights of landlords to determine who they can rent to or when and why they can evict a tenant. It's ludicrous that the government thinks they should be able to dictate what property owners can and can't do with their property.
This bill is a government overstretch. It completely takes away the rights of landlords, and gives it to tenants, no matter how bad those tenants may be.
What will this look like for our state going forward? Imagine a scenario where you as a landlord have a tenant who is a bad actor. He or she could be a racist, a drug addict, or a gang member but you would still have to renew their lease if they want to continue renting from you.
A tenant could have already caused serious damage to your property or missed payments, but you couldn't do anything to kick them out.
This bill is bad, period. However, it's even worse right now. For months, many property owners have already been providing free or reduced-rent housing because of the governor's emergency order. We should be looking for ways to help landlords not hurt them more.
I think we forget that when people can't afford to pay their rent because they have lost their income, landlords end up losing their income, as well. We should not be making it harder and more complicated to be a rental housing provider in our state.
We already have a homelessness crisis in Washington and this bill would only make it worse. It would make things too hard on landlords and many will decide they cannot operate under this unfair policy. That would lead to price spikes or cause landlords to simply sell their properties altogether, meaning there will be fewer available places to rent.
House Bill 1236 would have other unintended consequences because it would hurt renters, the very group the bill intends to help. There will be fewer open spaces to rent, meaning lower-income people who can't afford to buy a home, or pay the higher rental fees, will be left out in the cold, literally.
This bill also hurts small housing providers. The big corporate landlords won't have any real issues, but what about the smaller guys, the mom and pop renters? What's going to happen to them? If you have only one property and you get a bad tenant, the result could be foreclosure or bankruptcy if it takes too long and costs too much to get your property back.
We've already asked so much of our rental housing providers over the last year, and this bill is headed in the wrong direction. We must protect our housing supply, our property owners, and our tenants. Not the bad actors of the world.
Trespassers, gang members, and people engaging in illegal businesses or racial harassment, don't deserve the special protections this bill would give them, such as the right to force a property owner to renew an expired lease.
This policy puts the burden on rental housing providers and forces them to go through complicated and expensive legal proceedings with uncertain outcomes. This is not fair and equitable to property owners, who just want to run their business and take care of their families.
The bill is now scheduled to be considered in the Senate Committee on Housing & Local Government at on Thursday, March 11, at 8:00 a.m.
Please reach out to make your voice heard and let this committee know why this is a bad bill that will hurt Washington. We need to stop this from going any further.
You can use these links to sign up to testify remotely and share your view on any bill, including HB 1236:
Thank you again for your input. Please feel free to reach out to me whenever you have anything to share. I'm here to listen. Thank you for your support.
It's an honor to serve.